Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, S.166–Accident–Future Prospects—Tribunal passed award taking into consideration future prospects of income of deceased
2017(3) Law Herald (P&H) 2108 : 2017 LawHerald.org 1185
IN THE HIGH COURT OF PUNJAB AND HARYANA
Hon’ble Mrs. Justice Daya Chaudhary
HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company Ltd.
Smt. Rajni & Ors.
Decided on 17/04/2017
For the Petitioner. Mr. Sanjeev Goyal, Advocate
For the Respondant: Ms. Amandeep Kaur, Advocate
Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, S.166–Accident–Future Prospects—Tribunal passed
award taking into consideration future prospects of income of deceased-
Directions issued that 30% amount not to be released to the claimants and the
same be deposited in fixed deposit till the decision of matter relating to future
prospects is pending before Hon’ble the Apex Court—Rest of 70% directed to be
released. (Para 11)
Smt. Sarla Verma & Ors. v. Delhi Transport Corporation & Anr. 2009(3) RCR (Civil) 77. (Para 6)
Mrs. Daya Chaudhary, J.:-The appellant-Insurance Company has filed the present appeal to challenge impugned award dated 27.11.2014 passed by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, SAS Nagar Mohali (hereinafter called as ‘the Tribunal’), whereby, the claim petition filed by the claimants-respondents No.1 to 4 has been allowed and they have been granted compensation to the tune of Rs.29,03,664/- along with interest @ 6% per annum from the date of filing of claim petition till its realization.
Briefly, the facts of the case as made out in the petition are that claimants-respondents
1 to 4 filed claim petition under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 for grant of
compensation on account of death of Kulwinder Singh in a motor vehicular accident, stating
therein that on 11.04.2013 at about 8.30 pm, deceased and his brother Bhupinder Singh
were going from Dera Bassi to village Janetpur on Chandigarh Ambala Road on separate
motorcycles. On the way, offending SUV bearing registration No. PB-02-BN-0090 came from
Ambala side at a high speed being driven in a rash and negligent manner struck into the
motorcycle of the deceased and dragged him along with his motorcycle upto a distance of 50
meters. Resultantly, deceased-Kulwinder Singh sustained multiple serious injuries and was
rushed to Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi, from where, he was referred to GMCH, Sector 32,
Chandigarh. Thereafter, he was shifted to Alchemist Hospital, Panchkula. On 29.04.2013,
he was brought back to GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh where he ultimately died en
The claim petition was contested by the owner, driver as well as insurance company by filing
separate written statements. The Tribunal allowed the claim petition and awarded an amount
of Rs.29,03,664/- as compensation on account of death of Kuiwinder Singh.
The income of deceased was assessed @ Rs.10,000/- per month and by considering the fact
that he was 32 years of age, multiplier of 16 was applied. The claimants-respondents No.1 to
4 were also held entitled for an amount of Rs.5,18,664/- on account of expenditure on the
treatment of the deceased and Rs.25,000/-on account of funeral expenses. Widow of the
deceased was held entitled to Rs. 1,00,000/- on account of loss of consortium and minor son
was held entitled to Rs.1,00,0007-on account of loss of love and affection. Out of total amount
of compensation, 40% was to be disbursed to the widow as she had to bring up the minor son,
30% to the minor son, 20% to mother and 10% to the father.
Learned counsel for the appellant-Insurance Company submits that the issue regarding
future prospects is pending before the Larger Bench of Hon’ble the Apex Court but the same
has not been taken into consideration. The amount of compensation awarded to the claimants
is also on the higher side. Learned counsel further submits that the claimants had failed to
prove on record by adducing convincing evidence regarding the rash and negligent driving of
the driver of the offending vehicle and the amount has been awarded only on the basis of
presumption by holding that the deceased died due to rash and negligent driving of the driver
of the offending vehicle. The income of the deceased has been assessed @ Rs.10,000/- per
month whereas there was no documentary proof regarding the same. Simple by relying upon
the LIC premium receipts, the income has been assessed. Learned counsel also submits that
in absence of documentary proof of income, at the most the monthly income of unskilled/skilled
labourer could have been taken into consideration, which was in between Rs.4500-6500 per
Learned counsel for respondents No.1 to 4 submits that the award passed by the
Tribunal is well reasoned and the same has been passed after considering the age of
the deceased and the multiplier which has been applied on the basis of judgment
rendered by Hon’ble the Apex Court in Sarla Verma and others vs. Delhi
Transport Corporation and another, 2009(3) RCR (Civil) 77 by awarding amount
against different heads.
Heard arguments of learned counsel for the parties and have also perused the impugned
award as well as other documents available on the file.
The facts are not disputed. The award passed by the Tribunal is based on proper
appreciation of evidence as the deceased was 32 years of age at the time of accident and
it was proved on the basis of matriculation certificate wherein his date of birth was
mentioned as 30.04.1981. As per, claim petition, the deceased was working as
photographer and was earning Rs.15,000/- per month. It has also been mentioned in the
award that the deceased had taken LIC policy, which was in the name of his son and he
was paying the premium of Rs.10,563/- per annum. An amount of Rs.8.5 lakh was spent on
treatment after the accident and an amount of Rs.50,OOQ/- was spent on funeral and last
rites of the deceased.
PW3-Amit Sharma, medical record attendant, has proved Ex.P-67, the bill paid by the
claimants on treatment of the deceased in Alchemist Hospital, Panchkula. Apart from said bill,
other bills were also placed on record as Ex.P-38 to Ex.P-66 for an amount of Rs.5,18,664/-.
The income of the deceased was considered as Rs.10,000/- per month and the claimants
were awarded an amount of Rs.5,18,664/- on account of expenditure incurred on his
treatment, Rs.25,000/- on account of funeral expenses, Rs.1,00,OOQ/- on account of loss of
consortium to the widow and Rs.1,00,000/- on account of loss of love and affection to the
Keeping in view the finding recorded by the Tribunal and on perusal of record available on
the file, I am of the considered view that the amount of compensation awarded to the claimants
is justified and no interference is required, except the issue of future prospects, which is
pending before Hon’ble the Apex Court.
As such, out of total amount of compensation awarded by the Tribunal, 30% amount be not
released to the claimants and the same be deposited in fixed deposit till the decision of matter
relating to future prospects is pending before Hon’ble the Apex Court. However, 70% of the total
awarded amount be released to the claimants within a period of one month from the date of
receipt of certified copy of this order.
The Tribunal is directed to ensure the deposition of 30% of the total amount of
compensation in fixed deposit in any nationalized bank. The claimants would be entitled to
move application in case, the issue of future prospects is decided in their favour.
Accordingly, the appeal filed by the appellant-Insurance Company is partly allowed with the
aforesaid modification of the award passed by the Tribunal.